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11
Sep

‘Dummy’ 6.1-inch LCD iPhone Images Reposted on Social Media as Alleged iPhone Xc ‘Prototypes’


Over the weekend, mobile leaker Benjamin Geskin reposted a series of images supposedly showing “prototypes” of Apple’s forthcoming 6.1-inch LCD iPhone in three colors. The images were in fact first shared by Slashleaks on September 6, when they were described as “clones” of Apple’s upcoming mid-tier LCD iPhone.

Despite that, on Sunday Geskin re-shared an earlier tweet of his linking to the original Slashleaks page, and claimed the dummy/clone images were in fact “the real deal”, without offering any evidence to substantiate the new claim.

Guys… this is not clones or dummy models.. this is a real deal 🤯 Prototypes https://t.co/B8KESnTjx2

— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) September 9, 2018

Whatever the truth is behind these images, they’ve become a topic of online discussion, so we’re covering them here for completion.

Rumors have been running for some time that Apple’s more budget-friendly LCD iPhone will launch in several colors, with Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicting in July that gray, white, blue, red, and orange colors would be available.

Speculation surrounding possible color options was also reignited on Sunday when an alleged Chinese mobile carrier leak referred to the lower-spec LCD iPhone as “iPhone XC”. The last time Apple used “C” nomenclature in its smartphones was for its budget-friendly iPhone 5c, which featured a plastic rear case available in blue, green, yellow, white, and pink colors.

The red color shown in the images appears similar to Apple’s special PRODUCT(RED) iPhone editions, which for the last two years have only become available for select models midway through their first year of availability.

One of the images of the alleged “prototypes” also shows the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone with a dual-SIM card slot. Again, previous rumors have suggested that a dual-SIM version of the LCD iPhone will be available in select regions.

Lastly, the cases in the images look to have glass backs surrounded by aluminum edges, in contrast to the more expensive-to-manufacture stainless steel finish used in last year’s iPhone X.

It’s not long now before we’ll know for sure what Apple has planned for its 2018 iPhone lineup. Apple’s “Gather Round” media event takes place on Wednesday, September 12, and you can find all the coverage here on MacRumors.
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11
Sep

Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ Event Will Be Live Streamed on Twitter


Apple has confirmed that it will live stream its “Gather Round” event on Twitter, in addition to Apple.com as usual.

Join us September 12 at 10 a.m. PDT to watch the #AppleEvent live on Twitter. Tap ❤️ below and we’ll send you updates on event day. pic.twitter.com/i9mGHTKhvu

— Apple (@Apple) September 10, 2018

Just to be clear, MacRumors has confirmed that Apple’s promoted tweet refers to an actual live stream of the entire keynote on Twitter, likely complementing tweets and photos of highlights from the event. Twitter users can “like” the tweet to receive keynote-related updates from Apple on event day.

Wednesday will mark the first time Apple live streams an event on Twitter. Apple has been gradually expanding the ways that people can watch its live streams over the past few years, making them viewable in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, in addition to its own Safari browser across Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

The keynote can also be live streamed via the Apple Events app on Apple TV. On the fourth-generation Apple TV and newer, the app is available from the tvOS App Store. On the second- and third-generation Apple TV, the app appears on the home screen automatically within close proximity of events.

Apple’s keynote begins Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at Steve Jobs Theater, situated on its Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the event beginning around 8:15 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow, accompanied by live tweets via @MacRumorsLive.

Tag: September 2018 event
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11
Sep

Apple Not Expected to Announce Any New Beats Products at Wednesday’s Event


For the past several months, rumors have provided a glimpse of what to expect at Apple’s special event on Wednesday. Now, we may know of at least one category that won’t see any stage time tomorrow.

The Verge, citing a source close to the situation, reports that Apple does not plan to announce any new hardware from its Beats subsidiary at its “Gather Round” event at Steve Jobs Theater on Wednesday. The only new headphones expected are an updated pair of AirPods with “Hey Siri” support.

If the report is accurate, that means Apple fans should keep their expectations low for any new Beats headphones, or a lower-priced HomePod rumored to arrive in the form of a Siri-enabled Beats speaker.

Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and since then, the company has routinely refreshed the headphone lineup. However, it has yet to do so in 2018. The current lineup revolves around the Beats Solo3, Powerbeats3, and BeatsX, released in 2016 with Apple’s W1 chip for easy pairing.

Beats also launched Studio3 over-ear headphones with the W1 chip in 2017, followed by urBeats 3 with a Lightning connector, but for the most part, the headphone lineup is nearly two years outdated.

With so many rumored products in Apple’s pipeline through the remainder of this year, it’s not much of a surprise that Beats might not see any stage time at its September event. The keynote is expected to revolve around new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 4 models, new AirPods, and AirPower charging mat availability.

It’s unclear when Beats may be updated next. Apple certainly has enough on its docket for an October event, if it holds new iPad Pro models with Face ID and a wide range of new Macs until then, and perhaps it could fit in some Beats announcements too. Or, a simple press release would do the trick.

One wildcard is rumored Apple-branded, high-end over-ear headphones, which Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said could be released in the fourth quarter of 2018 at the earliest. Apple could certainly unveil the headphones tomorrow, although we’ve heard nothing specific to suggest that might occur.

Apple’s keynote begins Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, at Steve Jobs Theater, situated on its Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California. MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the event, with a live blog starting around 8:15 a.m. Pacific Time, and live tweets via @MacRumorsLive.

Apple will be live streaming the event on its website and Twitter.

Tags: Beats, September 2018 event
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11
Sep

Leaked Images of Alleged SIM Trays for 6.1-Inch iPhone Depict Five Color Options


Photos depicting alleged SIM trays for the upcoming low-cost 6.1-inch iPhone leaked today in a selection of different colors that include space gray, silver, red, blue, and brown.

The image was shared on Twitter by Ben Geskin, a leaker who often highlights images pulled from Chinese social networks and other similar sources.

It’s not known if these SIM trays are legitimate, but rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release the 6.1-inch iPhone in multiple color options. Apple has reportedly considered colors that include gray, white, blue, red, pink, black, and orange.


Last week, images depicting 6.1-inch iPhone dummy models in white, blue, pink, and red began circulating, but at least one of the colors doesn’t match up between the dummy model and the SIM tray seen here, as the blue SIM tray appears lighter in color.

iPhone Xc (6.1” LCD) clones/dummy models in new colors. pic.twitter.com/RybRhE7XSO

— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) September 6, 2018

Apple’s 6.1-inch iPhone is expected to feature an LCD display and a single-lens camera to keep costs lower than the two OLED devices that are in the works.

Rumors have suggested Apple could perhaps call the lower-cost device the “iPhone Xr.” Other prospective names have been floating around as well, including “iPhone 9” and “iPhone Xc,” harkening back to the iPhone 5c that came in multiple colors.

Apple is set to unveil the new 6.1-inch iPhone alongside the 5.8-inch OLED “iPhone Xs” and the 6.5-inch OLED “iPhone Xs Max” at an event that will take place at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow morning. For full details on what to expect when the new iPhones debut, make sure to check out our roundup.

The 6.1-inch iPhone could potentially be available in limited quantities at launch or pre-orders for the device could begin at a later date as rumors have indicated that Apple has faced some delays due to production issues.

Related Roundup: iPhone Xs
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11
Sep

AT&T’s new $40 phone’s for you if your requirements are as low as its price


If your smartphone requirements are as low as the price you ultimately want to pay for one, then AT&T may have the phone for you. It’s the Alcatel Tetra, and it’s simple, basic, and cheap. There’s no notch, monster processor, or triple-lens camera here, just a good old-fashioned mobile phone that will cost you just $40.

What does that buy you? The Tetra is not as woeful as one may expect, provided your expectations are kept in check. The screen measures 5 inches and has an 854 x 480 pixel resolution, and although it doesn’t have a Gorilla Glass covering, it does have an equivalent pane of 2D Dragontail glass, which promises to provide everyday protection against scratches and damage.

A quad-core MediaTek chip with 2GB of RAM is inside, so don’t expect the Tetra to whiz along; but it does have Android 8.1 Oreo onboard, which is far newer than many cheap, entry-level phones often have. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack on the phone, something that’s becoming a rarity these days, and a 2,050mAh battery to keep it all alive. A MicroSD card can be added to increase the 16GB of internal storage space.

You suffer most when it comes to the camera. There’s no dual-lens setup here, just a single 5-megapixel camera with a selection of features such as a night mode, HDR, and time-lapse video. It certainly won’t be challenging more expensive phones — which is almost everything else available — but you get what you pay for with cameras on phones. The design would have been cutting-edge a decade ago, though it now looks like it should have stayed there. It comes only in black plastic with a textured rear cover, weighs 150 grams, and measures a little over 9mm thick. Oh, and there are bezels. Big ones.

However, you’re paying only $40, and this is on one of AT&T’s prepaid plans, which start at $35. The Alcatel Tetra is available in AT&T stores today, or with online delivery expected after a few days. If you can stretch your budget, there are many phones that offer a lot more than the Tetra for a little more money.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Alcatel 1X review
  • The Alcatel 1 is a low-powered Android Go phone for just $80
  • Nokia 3.1 review
  • Moto E5 Play review
  • Asus Zenfone 5Z review



11
Sep

How to track any workout with Google Fit


Keeping track of your workout stats has never been easier.

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Google Fit just got a big design overhaul, with a focus on motivating you to workout with achievements and an easier-to-use goal interface. Google Fit supports every workout under the sun (even flossing), and tracking these workouts is super simple.

Products Used In This Guide

  • Any Android smartphone
  • Google Play Store: Google Fit (Free)
  • Amazon: TicWatch Pro ($250)

How to track a workout from your phone

Open the Google Fit app on your Android phone.
Tap the Plus Sign in the lower-right corner.
Tap Track workout.
Tap the dropdown menu at the top if you want to track other workouts. By default Google Fit shows that las few workouts tracked.

Tap the activity type you’d like to track.

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Tap Start workout.
Tap the pause button near the bottom of the screen.

Tap the stop button in the lower left corner of the screen.

google-fit-2.jpg?itok=fexSPq9d

The app will countdown from three, and your workout will begin. Destroy those calories, pump out your biggest gains, or floss the heck out of your teeth.

Once you tap pause and stop, the activity will be complete and it’ll be automatically added to your journal.

How to track a workout from your smartwatch

Google Fit is a big draw of Wear OS watches, especially since you can start and stop a workout right from your wrist.

Open the Google Fit app on your watch.
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
Tap Workouts in the menu.
Tap Other workouts if you need to track a different activity. By default, Google Fit will display the last few workout types that you last tracked.
Tap the activity type you’d like to track.

Tap Start workout.

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Swipe down from the top of the screen, from any screen on your watch.
Tap Pause.

Tap End Workout.

google-fit-wear-os-2.jpg?itok=vkDlmKq7

The app will countdown from three, and you workout will begin.

And that’s it! You’ve tracked your workout and it will appear inside the Google Fit app on your phone.

Our top equipment picks

If you’re all in on Google Fit, it’s worth getting a Wear OS watch to track your workouts right from your wrist.

The best watch for Google Fit

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro

ticwatch-pro-render-black-silver.png?ito

$250 at Amazon

The best Wear OS watch is also the best for tracking your workouts.

The Ticwatch Pro features a GPS tracker, heart-rate monitor, and NFC payments.

The Ticwatch Pro is a genuinely good watch even if you don’t care about fitness tracking. If you do, it’s even better. There’s a GPS chip to better track your jogs, a heart-rate monitor for keeping your beats in check, and an NFC chip so you can leave your phone at home and still use Google Pay.

11
Sep

Are you using Bixby on the Galaxy Note 9?


Here’s what kind of impact Bixby 2.0 is having on Note 9 users.

It’s no surprise at this point that the Galaxy Note 9 has a lot going for it. There’s the huge display, all-new S Pen features, iris scanning, etc. However, one goodie that is easy to overlook is the revamped Bixby 2.0 experience.

note-9-front-in-hand.jpg?itok=uARLMoev

The Note 9 is the first phone to ship with Bixby 2.0, and with this upgrade, Samsung promises faster performance, more contextual conversations, and deeper app integration. All of that sounds great, but how does it hold up in the real world?

Here’s what some Note 9 users have to say about Bixby in its current state.

avatar366712_1.gifbembol
09-10-2018 06:13 AM

When I had the S9+ I tried it, not bad surprisingly I used it a lot. I guess I liked the points system. LOL

Now with the 9 I set it up. No more points system?

Anyways my first use was a joke. I said “open Messenger.” I did…

Using the Internet app, Googled the app.

I’m done. LOL

Reply

avatar3073814_1.gifRichard Stewart79
09-09-2018 06:02 PM

I use it , I say good night and it turns my alarm on and optimizes my batter at once. Also instead of going in and setting brightness. You can say Bixby set brightness 80%. So many things within the phone you can do with it that other assistants can’t do. But it does lack things that Google can do also

Reply

avatar2865911_1.gifjlangner
09-09-2018 06:34 PM

I use it for certain things and has improved but mostly use GA since have google home as well.

Reply

avatar20994_1.gifwagadesa
09-09-2018 08:18 PM

Bixby is alright. But admittedly, it was a bit more polished on the Note 8 in terms of ease of use, setup and voice recognition. THE Bixby experience is not exactly the same between Note 8 and Note 9, IMHO.

Reply

What about you? Do you use Bixby on the Note 9?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
  • Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
  • Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Note 9 specifications
  • Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
  • Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums

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11
Sep

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Galaxy Note 8: Should you upgrade?


Here’s why you’ll be considering a $1000 phone upgrade this year.

Note users make the most of their phones. They work them hard and take all of their features to the max. That means they’re also typically willing to upgrade on a more frequent basis than someone that buys a typical Galaxy S phone or whatever other mainstream device is in the headlines.

The Galaxy Note 9 is out less than a year after the Note 8 hit the scene, but that isn’t going to stop Note 8 owners from taking a look at its successor and consider dropping a minimum of $1000 to get one. Here are the reasons why you should go for it, and a few to give you pause.

Reasons to upgrade to the Note 9

It’s simple to see how much is shared between the Note 8 and Note 9. The hardware, software and capabilities are mostly the same at the core level, which makes sense if you have followed Samsung’s update cadence year after year. The Note 9 does have a clear leg up in a few areas, though.

This upgrade will be all about the battery for some people.

First and foremost, it’s the battery size — at 4000mAh the Note 9 has 21% more capacity than the Note 8, and that’s going to translate directly to dramatically improved battery life considering the similarities of the rest of the phones. If you have issues with the Note 8’s battery life, the Note 9’s going to be your savior.

Chances are if you bought a Note 8 you wanted to make use of its ample storage — possibly optioning up to the 256GB model, and adding even more with the microSD card slot. Here’s one place where the Note 9 will make your mouth water: it has an optional 512GB of internal storage. For those who absolutely cannot stream or be bothered to manage their storage, and want a seemingly infinite amount of room, the Note 9’s 512GB storage — plus another 512GB via an SD card — will make the buying decision a whole lot easier.

Hardcore Note users will be able to appreciate the S Pen improvements.

Hardcore Note users will also be able to appreciate the much-improved S Pen experience from the addition of wireless connectivity. The S Pen is unchanged in terms of writing and drawing, but now it can be used for much more — it can launch and control apps remotely, from the camera and gallery to Powerpoint and music players. If you weren’t someone who used the S Pen much because you’re not a big writer, this addition may put you over the top to considering a Note.

On a far more subtle note, the Note 9’s cameras have improved — and we don’t need to use them to know how they perform, because the hardware is unchanged from the Galaxy S9+. That means you’ll be getting much better low-light performance compared to the Note 8, but the rest of the experience is roughly the same. The Note 8 can easily match it in terms of the secondary camera, daylight shots and portrait mode — so you won’t be upgrading merely for the camera.

And how could I forget, the fingerprint sensor placement is so much better on the Note 9 than the Note 8. It’s easy to reach and use, it’ll make you hate the Note 8’s sensor all over again. Don’t upgrade your phone just to get it — but if you do get the Note 9, thank yourself every day for this little convenience.

See Galaxy Note 9 at Amazon

Reasons to stick with the Note 8

Right before the Galaxy Note 9 was announced, I wrote an 11-month follow-up review of the Note 8 and found that it still felt like a modern and capable device with no sign of aging. It’s important to keep this in mind when you look at the shiny new Note 9 and start convincing yourself that you “need” a new phone. The Note 8 is still a great device, and it has really good specs that still feel modern — with 6GB of RAM it matches the Note 9’s base model, and the Snapdragon 835 is extremely powerful. The screen is nearly identical to the Note 9’s, too — you’re not losing out on brightness, colors or resolution here.

Don’t let the Note 9’s announcement make you forget the Note 8 is still a fantastic phone.

The external hardware, too, is nearly indistinguishable between the two. The Note 9’s metal frame has added new edge chamfers and a slightly different finish, but there’s nothing here that actually makes a difference in the quality of the experience. The rest of the hardware features are the same in terms of IP68 resistance, charging speed, glass strength, buttons and ergonomics. Sure the Note 9 has dual speakers … but they aren’t good enough to factor into this decision.

Outside of minor tweaks, the software is nearly the same on these phones. Samsung Experience 9.5 on the Note 9 has a couple visual changes, and the few new features to support the S Pen and dockless DeX experience — and remember, many of these features should be arriving on the Note 8 in its next platform update.

Should you upgrade?

note-9-vs-note-8-back.jpg?itok=hO-xkQ1O

The way Samsung updates its phones year after year has shown that it isn’t really targeting people who upgrade on a 12-month cycle. When you look at the Galaxy Note 9, it’s hard to say it’s worth spending $1000 on if you already have a Note 8 in your hand. Yes it has a much larger battery, a new S Pen, improved cameras and a 512GB storage option — but those are pretty fringe items with primarily marginal improvements. The rest of the experience is going to be identical to what you already have in the Note 8. At that point, it doesn’t make sense for most people to spend that kind of money on such a small change.

If you’re just looking to get the latest and greatest, and have a whole bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket, sure you can get the Note 9 as an upgrade. It’s better than the Note 8 in several ways, and no worse in any — and from that perspective it makes sense. But just don’t make the big-money move expecting it to be an entirely different experience than what you’re used to today.

See Galaxy Note 8 at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
  • Galaxy Note 9 vs. Note 8
  • Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
  • Galaxy Note 9 specifications
  • Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
  • Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums

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11
Sep

Google Assistant now supports Danish and Norwegian languages


There’s a lot going on with the Google Assistant — let’s break down the important stuff.

google-pixel-2-xl-google-assistant-voice

In May 2016, we got our very first taste of the Google Assistant with the debut of Allo. The Assistant was a big draw to Allo at the time, with Google marketing it as a helpful bot that could make restaurant reservations, search the web, and more within your conversations.

Since then, the Assistant has gained heaps of new features and expanded to smartphones, tablets, speakers, and more. Google’s shown no interest in slowing down development for the Assistant, meaning that it’s likely here for the long-haul.

Whether this is your first encounter with it or you just need a quick refresher, here’s everything you need to know about the Google Assistant.

The latest Google Assistant news

September 11, 2018 — Google Assistant now supports Danish and Norwegian languages

Increased language support is always something we love to see with the Google Assistant, and most recently, everyone’s favorite AI can now speak in Danish and Norwegian.

The official Assistant pages are now live in both languages, but as we see with all of these rollouts, it may take some time for it to reach your devices. To check and see if the Assistant’s arrived for you, simply hold down the home button on a phone that’s set to either language and see if you’ve got the Assistant UI instead of the old Google voice search one.

September 10, 2018 — Disney doubles its Google Assistant content with three new games

Google Assistant can help your kids with questions about their homework or the universe, can help remind you and your kids when you need to get going for soccer practice, and it can even tell them a bedtime story. Disney is bringing a little more magic to the Google Home and beyond with three new Google Assistant activities.

  • Maui’s Music Game lets kids help Maui defeat monster and reunite with Moana after getting separated from his hook in Lalotai, the Realm of Monsters. While playing, you’ll be rewarded with musical conch shells that play music from the film. You’re Welcome!
  • Disney Princess brings you along on a daily adventure with one of your favorite princesses. Help Ariel learn what human world objects are called, navigate Jasmine through a horse race, and hear fun stories from Cinderella and Tiana. You can also get nerdy with Belle answering her questions about your favorite books.
  • Toy Story Freeze Dance gets active with an interactive dance game that initiates you as one Bonnie’s new toys. Learn the moves and the meaning of being a toy, but make sure you pay attention, because at any moment, you could have to FREEZE! to avoid exposing the biggest secret in toydom.

These games are designed for Google Home, but you can also play them on phones and Google Assistant-enabled Chromebooks and TVs, as well as those nifty new Smart Displays. These games join Disney’s current Google Assistant offerings:

  • Mickey Mouse Adventure
  • Cars Adventure
  • Belle’s Castle Adventure
  • Star Wars Trivia Challenge

August 21, 2018 — “Hey Google, tell me something good” now dishes out “good news”

Staying up to date on all of the current news is important no matter who you are, but with everything going on in our world, sometimes it’s easy to feel like nothing good is happening. In an effort to bring “good news” to light, Google’s launching a new Assistant command in the U.S.

When talking to the Assistant on your phone, Google Home, or Smart Display, you can now say “Hey Google, tell me something good” to hear about how people are solving real issues all around us.

Google partnered with Solutions Journalism Network for this feature, and per Google, solutions journalism, “highlights how problems are solvable and that doing better is possible.”

If you’re in the U.S., you can try out this command starting today.

August 14, 2018 — Pandora Premium now supported by Google Home and Smart Displays

Users have been able to stream Pandora through Google Home speakers for quite some time now, but starting today, you’ll be able to link your Pandora Premium account so you can listen to specific, on-demand songs/playlists in addition to the service’s popular radio stations.

Pandora Premium costs $9.99/month like the majority of its competitors, but if you own a Google Home, you can get a free 90-day trial to test out the service before handing over any of your hard-earned cash.

You can start listening to Pandora Premium on the Google Home, Home Mini, Home Max, Lenovo Smart Display, and other Google Assistant speakers right now.

August 9, 2018 — Deeper, more specific news coverage is now rolling out

Pretty much since the Assistant’s inception, you’ve been able to say “Hey, Google, what’s the news?” to get a quick overview of all the big headlines for any given day.

Starting today and rolling out to users across the U.S., you can now ask the Assistant about news for specific topics, such as “What’s the latest on NASA?” or “What’s the news on the women’s national soccer team?”. Asking these questions on a Smart Display will pull up related YouTube videos while audio-only speakers such as Google Home will read out excerpts from news articles.

Additionally, this command will also be available for Android Auto, Android phones, and Assistant-powered headphones like the Bose QC35 II.

August 3, 2018 — Google Home can now understand what room it’s in for contextual light controls

That title might make this not sound all that exciting, but this is actually pretty cool.

Up until now, asking your Google Home to “turn on the lights” or “tune off the lights” without specifying a certain room would result in every single connected light being turned on/off. However, a new update now allows the Google Home to only control the lights in the same room as it when this command is issued.

For example, if you have a Google Home assigned to the same room as the smart lights in your living room, asking that Google Home to turn on the lights will only activate the bulbs in the living room. You can still specify rooms with your voice, but this update should make these interactions a lot more natural.

Following numerous Redditors discovering this feature, Google confirmed to Android Police that this is indeed rolling out to users and will be making its way to everyone over the coming days.

July 27, 2018 — You can now schedule custom routines for specific times/days

Building upon Custom Routines that were added to Google Assistant earlier this year, users can now schedule these routines to go off at a certain time/day. Previously, custom routines you made could only be used after saying a specific command.

While creating a routine, you’ll now see a new “Set a time and day” option under the “When” section. Here, you can choose the time you want it to play and what day(s) it should repeat.

There are a lot of ways to take advantage of this, with one example being to have your coffee pot turn on, crank up the AC, and hear about the weather as you’re waking up without having to ever speak to your Google Home. Neat!

July 26, 2018 — Dutch is now an officially supported language

Good news, Dutch speakers! As of July 26, 2018, Google’s confirmed that the Google Assistant now speaks Dutch as one of its official languages.

Assuming you’ve got an Android phone running Marshmallow or later, you can now access the Assistant to ask it questions about the weather, create calendar appointments, control smart home devices, and more.

In addition to your phone, you’ll also be able to use Dutch on the Google Home later in the year once the smart speaker goes on sale in the Netherlands.

July 17, 2018 — New Google Assistant page shows commute times, packages, upcoming flights, and more

google-assistant-visual-snapshot-update.

Starting today, the Assistant on your phone is getting a big visual overhaul. After prompting the Assistant, tap the icon near the top right that previously opened up the Explore page for finding new Assistant actions and it’ll now show a visual overview of your day.

Similar to old Google Now cards, this page shows things like your commute to work, the current weather, upcoming flights, packages that are on their way from recent online orders, calendar appointments, and much more.

In the near future, Google says it’ll let you see a quick overview of notes/lists from Google Keep, Todoist, Bring!, and more, a discovery page that’ll help you find nearby events/activities, reminders of where you last parked your car, and recommendations for songs and podcasts the Assistant thinks you’ll like.

This new interface is rolling out today and is available on Android and iOS for all languages the Assistant supports.

July 10, 2018 — Google updates the UX for selecting the Assistant’s voice

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During Google I/O this past May, four new voices were added to the Assistant’s existing male and female voices to help give it some more personality. Starting today, English users in the United States will see a new user interface when changing the voice.

With the new UX, users will now see a horizontal row of colors that denotes each voice rather than a vertical list of Voice 1, Voice 2, etc. The colors are entirely random and consist of Red, Orange, Amber, Green, Cyan, Blue, Purple, and Pink.

Google says the new look should be live for everyone by the end of the week!

July 10, 2018 — Deezer Premium is now supported on Google Homes in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Italy

Deezer may not be as popular as rivals like Spotify and Pandora, but for subscribers of the paid Deezer Premium service, you’ll be happy to know that you can now listen to all of your Deezer songs and playlists through your Google Home.

Deezer Premium streaming has been available through Google Home since August 2017, but it was initially only live in France and Germany. This was later expanded to the United Kingdom in April of this year, and with this latest rollout, Deezer Premium now works on Google Homes that are in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Italy.

To link Deezer Premium to your Google Home, open the Home app, go to Music, and link your Deezer account.

The service regularly costs $9.99/month, but if you’re a new member, Google’s offering three months for just $0.99. If you want to take advantage of this offer, it’s good until September 20.

June 26, 2018 — All Google Home speakers now support Spanish

While users have been able to talk to Assistant in Spanish on their phones, we’re just now getting the ability to do the same on Google Home speakers.

Now, users in the United States, Spain, Mexico and other countries can choose to speak to Google Assistant in Spanish. If you want to change what language Google Home uses, open the Home app on your phone. The tap Settings -> Preferences -> Español.

All Google Home Speakers now support Spanish

June 12, 2018 — Google Home can now handle up to three commands at once

It can get old trying to ask multiple questions to our smart speakers — “What’s the weather” and “How’s my schedule” — but nowGoogle Home can understand up to three commands. Now, you can get your calendar, find out the weather and start playing music by only saying “Okay Google” once.

Another new feature is support for Multiple Actions. So now, instead of asking, “What’s the weather in New York and the weather in San Francisco?”, you can ask, “What’s the weather in New York and San Francisco?” This is a subtle change, but it makes conversing with Google Assistant much more like conversing with a human.

Google Home can now handle up to three commands at once

May 9, 2018 — Google announced a heap of new features at I/O

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To little surprise, the Google Assistant was the star of the show for a good chunk of I/O’s opening keynote this year.

A lot of new features were announced for the Assistant, including new voices, the ability to ask follow-up questions without having to say “Hey, Google” each time, and an option for making your own custom Routines.

However, the most exciting thing was a system called Google Duplex. With this, the Assistant can call businesses and make appointments/reservations on your behalf. It’s wickedly cool and definitely one of the wildest things to come out of this year’s conference.

What’s new in Google Home and Assistant at Google I/O 2018

All the important details

Google Now paved the way for Google Assistant

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The Google Now page compared to the new Google Feed.

Before there was the Google Assistant, we had Google Now. Google Now was introduced to the world all the way back in 2012, offering contextual info through the Google Now page and helpful answers to random questions with an “OK Google” voice command.

A lot of what made Google Now so great can still be found in the Google Assistant today, with the exception of the Google Now page. The Google Now page used to be home to cards showcasing the weather, information on packages that had shipped from online orders, boarding passes, and more. It’s since been replaced by the Google Feed – a collection of news stories Google thinks you’ll be interested in – and it’s definitely the biggest departure between the two services.

The Google Assistant as a whole is still more powerful than Google Now ever was, but long-time Android users like myself are still mourning the loss of that Now page. RIP, old friend.

Read more: Google Now is being left to wither and die as Google Assistant takes the focus

It’s available on just about everything

In just a few short years, the Google Assistant’s gone from being exclusive to a now-failed chat app to being integrated into just about anything you can think of.

You’ll find Google Assistant built right into most Android phones, it’s the star of the show for the Google Home lineup, and it’s even making its way into sound bars.

Here’s the full list of devices with Google Assistant

Setting up the Google Assistant is as easy or complex as you want

When you set up a device for the first time that has the Assistant, getting started is pretty simple. Accessing it is just a voice command or tap away depending on what gadget you’re using, but if you want to really fine-tune your experience, Google’s got you covered.

Take a quick dive into your Assistant settings and you’ll find options for just about everything – including your weather preferences, changing the Assistant’s voice, retraining your voice model, picking out preferred news sources, and much more.

How to set up and customize Google Assistant

Google Assistant is available in multiple regions and languages

Of course, a smart voice assistant isn’t any good if you can’t actually use it. Fortunately, Google Assistant will be available in 52 countries —adding 38 countries this year — and 17 languages by the end of 2018.

More: Google Assistant will expand to 38 countries and 17 languages in 2018

Google Home’s the premier way to get the Assistant in your house (at least for now)

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It’s great to have the Google Assistant on your phone, but if you want to truly experience just how helpful it can be, you’ll want to consider picking up a Google Home.

Google Home is Google’s line of smart speakers that put the Assistant on full-display, allowing you to control smart devices, ask random questions, set timers, play music, and more by just using your voice.

You can spend as little as $49 for the Google Home Mini, $129 for the original Google Home, or a whopping $399 for the Google Home Max.

However, as great as the Home series is, don’t forget that Smart Displays are just on the horizon.

Announced at CES 2018, Smart Displays are essentially smart speakers with the Google Assistant and a touch screen display that can show you helpful visuals when talking to them. It’s basically Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot, and we can’t wait to see more from them.

Everything you need to know about Google’s Home speakers

Then again, is an always-listening speaker the right fit for your home?

However, the convenience of a Google Home (or any smart speaker for that matter) does come at the cost of privacy. Speakers like the Google Home are “always listening”, meaning they’re constantly on the lookout for a hot word to know when you’re talking to it (such as “Ok, Google” and “Hey, Google”).

This means the microphone on a Google Home is always active, but it’s not necessarily storing all the audio it hears when it doesn’t detect its hot word.

Most all speakers allow you to restore some privacy by being able to mute the microphone, but if you want to start asking the Assistant questions, you’ll need to unmute it first.

To learn more about these “always listening” speakers, I’ll pass the mic over to Jerry

Big upgrades are coming to the Assistant on Wear OS

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Switching gears for a second, the Google Assistant on Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) is about to get a big upgrade.

In the near future, the Assistant on Wear OS will support Assistant Actions (basically apps for the Assistant) and give you the option to hear its responses through your watch’s speaker or a pair of connected Bluetooth headphones.

Along with this, Google will be adding something called “smart suggestions.” After asking the Assistant for the weather, for example, you’ll see little bubbles for “weather tonight”, “use celsius”, and more so you can continue the conversation with just the tap of your finger. Google Assistant on Android offers something similar, and it’s a great tool to have.

IFTTT supercharges the Assistant’s usefulness

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IFTTT (If This Then That) is a powerful online tool that allows you trigger something (that) if a certain event (this) happens. You can connect IFTTT to the Google Assistant to create your own recipes using this formula, and it can allow for some incredibly helpful combinations.

Some of our favorite uses for IFTTT and the Assistant include adding contacts to your Google account, setting your Google Calendar status to Busy for a certain period of time, and much, much more.

Getting started with IFTTT can take some time and patience if you’re new to it, but once you’re all set up and ready to go, it can prove to be a lifesaver.

How to connect Google Home and IFTTT to do amazing things with your connected tech

You’ll get the same experience no matter what devices you use

With so many devices capable of running the Assistant, it’d be easy to think that the experience you get on one gadget would be different from another. This is something that Google struggled with for a while at first, but we’re finally in a position where the Assistant experience you get on a smart speaker, for example, is the same you’ll get on your phone.

There are a handful of features here and there that still create for some discrepency, but for the most part, the Assistant you use on your Pixel 2 is the same one found on Google Home.

Google Home and Google Assistant finally offer the same experience

Google Duplex is actually going to be a thing

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Google showed off Duplex — Google Assistant making natural-sounding phone calls on your behalf — at I/O 2018, but quickly noted that it was just an experiment. Flash forward a couple months, and Google announced that certain users have started testing Duplex, and a public release will be here in the next few months. Before you know it, Google Assistant will be able to book hotels, dinner reservations, hair appointments and more without you lifting a finger.

More: What is Google Duplex?

Updated July 2018: Added the Google Duplex and language support sections, as well as links to recent Assistant news.

11
Sep

Honor confirms its first 5G phone will launch in 2019


The company expects to be a top-three smartphone brand by 2022.

On Saturday, September 8, the World INS Conference was held in Beijing, China. Honor’s President Geroge Zhao was one of the speakers at the event, and during it, confirmed that Honor’s first 5G smartphone will launch at some point in 2019.

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Zhao didn’t go into any detail as to when in 2019 we can expect the phone, but this is certainly a big move for a brand that’s mostly seen in the U.S. as a more affordable option compared to the likes of Samsung, Google, Apple, etc.

In addition to 5G, Zhao also talked about Honor’s commitment to continuing its development and research on artificial intelligence.

Per Zhao:

With the arrival of 5G, the efficiency of smartphones and Cloud will increase exponentially, and the era of intelligent phones will arrive simultaneously. Meanwhile, the era of full-speed AI phones will come as well.

With this aggressive focus on the 5G future, Honor believes that it will become a top-five smartphone brand by 2020 and move into the top three by 2022.

Honor Magic 2 announced with a sliding design and virtually no bezels

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